Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

A Blizzard Cometh

I kinda spaced out and forgot to do an episode review the Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D. mid season finale.  I thought it was pretty entertaining and you could probably just start watching the show from that episode and not have to suffer through the earlier ones like I did.  And it finally introduced a conflict worthy of the audience’s attention.  Coulson gets kidnapped.  Sorry. Spoiled it. Whatever.  You’re not watching it anyway.

So to entice us nerds to keep watching this thing, ABC and Marvel have announced that episode 12 which airs January 14 will feature a classic Marvel villain from Iron Man’s rogue’s gallery, the Blizzard.  Who looks liked this when he debuted:

The Ice Man cometh!

The Ice Man cometh!

Oooookaaaaay.

Sadly, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of the Blizzard.  I admit, my knowledge of the Marvel Universe is far from encyclopedic.  There are a shit ton of villains and heroes that I’ve never heard of.  So maybe there are nerds out there who might be excited to see the Blizzard in action.  I’m not sure I really care though and I don’t know if it will be enough to grab the attention of Avengers fans who only know the movie universe.

However, this is what he looks like in Iron Man: Armored Adventures:

I'm a badass ice cube tray!

I’m a badass ice cube tray!

Okay, that’s fucking badass.  And if that’s the version we’re going to get to see on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., sign me way the hell up!  I’m sad that the announcement didn’t come along with a screen shot so I have a sneaking suspicion that the Blizzard might end up being some dude in a trench-coat or some equally cheap wardrobe decision.  But if we get a man in a mech suit on television, fuck yeah!

From: Coming Soon

Ghost in the Plane

Melinda May is sick of your shit. Or maybe this show.

Melinda May is sick of your shit. Or maybe this show.

You know what, I really liked this episode.  Like, like liked. Not, weeeelllll it’s not terrible liked.  Repairs is a great example of what works well with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The ensemble really shined.  We got Fitz and Simmons trying to prank Skye.  Coulson told us about what made Melinda May so cold.  Melinda May actually opened up.  Skye was useful and somehow, Ward didn’t make me roll my eyes.  If you’ve been holding out on S.H.I.E.L.D., this one might be a good one to check out.

The show was picked up for a full 22 episode season.  Hopefully this marks a turning point.

I’ll try not to be too spoilery because I actually think it’s worth watching, but here are some of my favorite bits:

  • Fitz and Simmons fill the nerd quotient of the show admirably.  But as pranksters, they are terrible.
  • Ward and May hooking up makes a lot more sense than Ward and Skye and I honestly don’t hate it as much as I thought I would.  It’s kind of a surprise seeing how hard the show spent the early episodes trying to mash Ward and Skye together, but it’s actually kind of welcome.
  • Coulson’s love of antiques is precious.
  • Until we hear it directly from Melinda May, I don’t think we’ll ever know her full story.  But what Coulson tells us is heartbreaking enough.
  • Somehow, this episode is more of a crossover with Thor: The Dark World than last week’s.
  • Melinda May wins without kicking. Fucking hardcore.

In two weeks, The Bridge will feature the return of Mike Peterson who starred as the hooded guy in the pilot episode.  This means a return of the Centipede which should probably be AIM or Hydra or something and for once, I’m actually kind of looking forward to it.

Clean Up Crew of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Pick up the pieces. Uh huh.  Pick up the pieces. Oh yeah.

Pick up the pieces. Uh huh. Pick up the pieces. Oh yeah.

The Well” was promoted as the AMAZEBALLS Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. crossover event with Thor: The Dark World.  Does it pay off?

Well, we do get to spend some brief time on a set from the movie that was featured in maybe a half a scene.  And there is an Asgardian. But if you were expecting guest stars from the movie making cameo appearances or any encounters with Dark Elves, you’d be sadly disappointed.  This episode was meant to give us a reason to connect with Ward.

We open with Team Coulson cleaning up after Thor’s mess.  They’re looking for any alien tech that might get out to the public.  And thus ends the crossover and out time on a movie set.

Meanwhile, some neo-pagans find part of an Asgardian staff embedded in an old Norwegian wood and get rage powers.  So we’re on an artifact hunt to look for something that wasn’t actually in the movie at all.  Why bother saying this shit is a crossover?

The artifacts is one third of the Berzerker Staff which instantly made me think of this:

It was left here ages ago when an Asgardian decided to stay on earth after a big battle.  The Berzerker Staff unlocks the rage within any who touch it while giving them super strength.  The warrior thought the staff to be too dangerous so he broke it into three pieces and hid it.

Team Coulson consults with some professor guy who turns out to be the Asgardian warrior who really turns out to be an Asgardian mason and I kinda just don’t care anymore.  Ward touches the second piece of the staff and he remembers the time when he chucked a kid down a well and wanted to save him but his brother wouldn’t let him or his brother got chucked in a well or something or some well with Samara who isn’t your daughter and if you don’t make copies of the vhs she’ll kill you from the tv… man, I’m really just not connecting with this episode.  Even when he’s rage face, Grant Ward is just boring.  Certainly, he’s got the build.  We get some nice shirtless-o-clock time with him.  He can be a male model.  But he can’t carry this episode.

So Ward now has rage powers.  The physical strength will wear off in a matter of hours.  But the pit of rage, the thing that the staff forced him to face, will be there for decades.  This makes Ward a ticking time bomb.  The funniest shit to me is that when Melinda May touches the staff, it’s no biggie.  Yes, she sees shit, but she sees it every day.  Much like Bruce Banner is angry all the time, Melinda May is seething hate always.  But because she’s so badass, she keeps it in check.  It actually makes her more frightening than any of them.

The only other thing that’s significant is Coulson’s dream.  He’s getting a massage in Tahini and he feels truly relaxed.  He remarks to the masseuse, “Tahiti’s too good to be true.”

She relies, “I know. It’s a magical place.”

Coulson wakes up in a pool of sweat.

Only two more episodes to find out what the fuck it all means!

My friend Marty asked me to tell him when this show became MUST SEE.  We’re not even close.  And we’ve only got two episodes to make geeks give a shit again.  I’d be surprised as hell if this gets picked up for a second season, but if it does, man, they really gotta do something with Ward and Skye.  Make them villains or something.

Welcome to the Hub

Let the slash fic begin!

Let the slash fic begin!

“Not everyone gets sent to Tahiti.”

“It’s a — magical place.”

“He’s acting like a robot version of himself.”

“Trust the system.”

Alright, show, we get it. Coulson is a magical robot reincarnation of himself!  Dammit, if this shit doesn’t pay off in the season finale, I’ma go Mye Mye on some Midgard shit!

I really liked the Total Recall nose thing at the start of the episode.  They even use the same damn tool that Arnold uses!

Despite half of the episode being devoted to Ward while the other half was devoted to Skye, I quite enjoyed “The Hub.”  We’ve figured it out by now, but the team’s time at the Hub just drives home the point that S.H.I.E.L.D. is not to be trusted.

Ward and Fitz make a pretty good field duo while Skye and Simmons make somewhat decent spies, although Simmons could stand to work on her bullshitting under pressure skills.

But the best duo is, of course, Coulson and May.  I would not be sad if the entire series was about them.  They are the heart of the team and for me, the heart of the show.

We get some answers about Skye’s parents which I actually found pretty interesting.  There are details that need to be filled in, but she’s connected to S.H.I.E.L.D. perhaps more deeply than she may want to know.  Also, we learn that there’s a clearance above level 8 which Coulson doesn’t have.  It’s a shock to him and further cements the idea that something isn’t right in his mind.

Overall, I think the show is picking up.  Last week’s episode was a good jump start and that momentum is continuing.  I have to say, much like Legend of Korra, S.H.I.E.L.D. is starting to win me over.

After a Week Off, Let’s Check in With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Oh, paleeeeeeease. Of course I'm more interesting than Skye.

Oh, paleeeeeeease. Of course I’m more interesting than Skye.

It’s taken six episodes for me to warm up to this damn show, but the latest episode “F.Z.Z.T.” of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had me yelling at the screen, “NOOO!! DON’T YOU FUCKING WHEDON SIMMONS YOU SADISTIC BASTARDS!”

JEMMA

In Super Sentai, every member of the team will get at least one episode dedicated to them. In much the same way, “F.Z.Z.T.” is Jemma Simmon’s episode.  This was the first time we’ve really heard her first name thrown around.

Though her life has been at risk in previous field missions, this is the first time the danger has come so close to home for Simmons.  In previous episodes, it seemed like she looked forward to the danger with a seemingly childlike enthusiasm.  This time around, it really hits her and we really get to see the impact take hold.  It’s a great episode for her.

SON OF COUL

Coulson proves to be the emotional center of this show.  Clark Gregg continues to impress me.  I loved his heart to heart with the fireman.

He’s starting to recognize that something is wrong.  He feels different.  And although Melinda May reassures him at the end of the episode, I have a feeling that it’s not going to satisfy Coulson.  There’s also some hint that Melinda May has gone through a similar life and death experience, but that’s all we get. Hints and whispers.

I’M AGENT BLAH BLAH BLAH

Agent Ward and her bestie pal Skye time was kept to a minimum.  I don’t know if the writers are reacting to early complaints or if this was the plan all along, but I’m all for it.  Any chance to let everyone else shine, I’m all for it.  Skye is pretty useless which was aptly demonstrated in this episode.

Ward has his uses, but I also feel that Melinda May can do anything he can do better.

GET ON THE BUS

If you’ve been holding out on S.H.I.E.L.D. because of all the things you’ve heard, I don’t blame you.  If I didn’t stay up to ungodly hours working on comics, I wouldn’t have bothered myself.  But I think this episode is worth a watch.  Hopefully, this marks a turning point in the show.

Oh Fine, Here’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode Review

Melinda May continues to be unimpressed with Agent Boring MC Strong Chin.

Melinda May continues to be unimpressed with Agent Boring MC Strong Chin.

I’m still watching the show because despite how terribly boring it is, the mysteries they’ve set up have me curious.  Each episode has had a little tidbit about Coulson that reinforces the point that he’s not the same person that we saw in the movies.  It’s a little on-the-nose maybe, but it’s at least interesting.  Also, I’m kind of curious as to the timing of the series.  We know it takes place after The Avengers, but I’m also thinking it takes place before Iron Man 3 because Extremis seems to be wildly unstable.  Will we get an Aldrich Killian cameo?

Thus far, S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes have fallen into one of two categories, hunting for an artifact, hunting for a powered human.  Episode 5, “Girl in the Flower Dress,” falls into the powered human one.  There will be spoilers aplenty, but no ones watching the show so who cares!

SCORCH

That’s a dumb fuck of a codename.  Chan Ho Yin is our baddy of the week.  He can fire bend which is pretty neat, but he’s got a major chip on his shoulder.  He’s all pouty face because his S.H.I.E.L.D. handler won’t let him show off his pro bending skills.  So he makes a living as a street magician which goes about as well as you’d expect.  Things turn around for him when a pretty girl in a flower dress, Raina, asks him to show her his fire power.  So of course, she’s evil and kidnaps him.

He wakes up in a secret facility and is like “What the fuck bro.” But Raina appeals to his ego promising him that she’ll help him harness his strength and boost his abilities.  So of course, he’s doomed.  She gives him the dumb fuck codename and his fate is sealed.

Chan turned out to be kind of an asshole.  It’s possible that the strain of Extremis he got amplifies a person’s inner shithead.  All I know is that when he got his booster shot, he became completely unsympathetic.  Skye constantly berated her hacker fuck toy for possibly endangering Chan, but I didn’t really care at that point.  It’s like as soon as Raina gave him the name Scorch, his secondary mutation was asshole.

The part that really surprised me was the torching of the doctor.  I thought that she would be the big bad for this season or at least a major player in the big bad organization’s plans.  Nope.  Chan torched her.  Leaving Raina as our only connection to the big bad organization.  I’m guessing it’s AIM, but that goes with my theory that this show takes places before Iron Man 3.

So yeah, I kinda wanted to like Chan because he seemed like a victim of circumstance.  But he was a little too much of asshole for me to give a shit about him.

Skye

The real reason for this episode was to reveal more about Skye and her motivations for joining the Rising Tide.  The Rising Tide hacked a S.H.I.E.L.D. database and leaked the information online which lead to Chan’s kidnapping.  The hackers responsible for the leak is Miles who’s totes L337 #eyeroll.  The dude who plays Miles comes off more as a burned out hippie than an L337 H@XXORZ but since Skye is this show’s idea of a girl-in-a-van-haxxor, I shouldn’t have been surprised.  Miles is Skye’s fuck buddy who apparently helped her out when she was in a low place.  So they fuck.  And then Melinda May finds them together and Skye’s cover is totally blown.

Except that EVERYONE KNEW SHE WAS LYING!  I guess that also goes along with Coulson being a different person because absolutely no on the show trusted her except for him.

guh.

Whatever.  Turns out that Skye became an L337 H@XXORZ to find out more about her parents.  All she could find was a redacted S.H.I.E.L.D. document.  So she tried to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. to find out more.  And now that she’s on the inside, she decided to fuck everything up by lying to everyone.

This is an interesting feature in a lot of Joss Whedon shows.  The good guys always lie to each other.  They hide things from each other.  The villains usually tell things straight up, although Raina completely lied to Chan so that bit doesn’t hold up.  Good guy lying leads to a lot of conflict and misunderstanding and general awfulness.

If you’re a Skye fan, this episode had a lot of stuff for you.  Oh, you also get to see her in her underwear which honestly, kind of dragged the episode down.

TL;DR

The short version, episode 5 gave us more questions about the “Scorpion” organization and more answers about Skye.  I suspect a lot of this will all come together at the end, but we’re halfway through Season 1 and I feel like it’s still dragging its feet a bit.

First Impressions of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

agentsOfShield

I’ve watched the first two episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which is hardly enough to get a real sense of the show in its entirety.  Episode 3 aired last night and thanks to ABC streaming, I plan on checking it out sometime later today or this week.  But I have thoughts and a few people have asked, so I’m posting my first impressions.  I’ll do this by character.

Hacker Mc Perfect Hair

I don’t like Skye.  I’m not entirely certain what she brings to the lineup.  Fitz and Simmons are the nerds.  Melinda May is the reluctant muscle.  Coulson is the brains.  I don’t know why Skye is there and for that matter, I don’t know why Agent Ward is there either.  The relationship between the two is being telegraphed so hard that I wonder if Joss isn’t going to pull a fast one on us.  But she seems superfluous and annoying.  I don’t even care that she’s a mole. Like that’s not completely obvious to the rest of the team.

Broody Mc Strong Chin

Speaking of superfluous, Agent Ward is pretty useless.  Melinda May can do anything he can do much, much better.  So why is he here?  I understand that May didn’t want to see combat, but she’s already dusted off her ass kicking boots.  Mr “Total Solution” or whatever he calls himself is just there for Skye to moon at.  And that’s annoying.  The two of them are there to give us some sort of emotional hook, but there’s no chemistry between the actors.  And all of Ward’s one-liners that would kill in the hands of someone like Nathan Fillion just fall dead.

It seems like the show wants so bad for us to really care about these two and I just don’t.

The Cavalry

I’ve got a soft spot for Ming Na Wen so to see her back in action is awesome.  I want to know more about her, why she decided to take a desk job, why she decided to join Coulson’s team.  This isn’t her first time at the rodeo so she had to have known that if she returned to the field, she was going to see combat.

The Nerds

Fitz and Simmons are fantastic!  I love the way they play off of each other.  They get so lost in conversation and bouncing ideas back and forth that they forget anyone else is in the room.  And I love the fact that the show doesn’t stop to make them explain what the hell they are talking about at every second.  These two are great which probably means they’re destined to get horribly fucked at some point.

Son of Coul

This is not the same Phil Coulson that we saw in the movies and I give Clark Gregg for giving the S.H.I.E.L.D. version of his character a little more edge.  S.H.I.E.L.D. is lying to Coulson and that thread of mystery might be enough to hold my interest through a full season.

Getting on the Bus?

I think I’ll be giving it a few more episodes.  Not sure if I’ll be doing episode reviews like I do with Doctor Who, but if things get more interesting, who knows.  May, Fitz, Simmons, and Coulson have my attention and I kind of wish the show was just about those four.  I’m a little disappointed that it’s not more ethnically diverse, but then, looking at the source material, it’s not at all surprising.

So yeah, like I said, two episodes really aren’t enough to judge S.H.I.E.L.D. in its entirety.  I’ll be watching.  But it’s not something I’m raving about just yet.